Q&A: Ben Franklin Tech Partners Is Doubling Down on Philly Life Sciences

Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) is a force for investment in the region’s early-stage tech companies.

The organization has invested in 4,500 Pennsylvania-based tech companies since its inception and has a portfolio that boasts $354 million in funding raised in 2018 alone. But BFTP’s chief executive officer RoseAnn B. Rosenthal believes in doing more than just throwing money at companies of promise. For the last 23 years, Rosenthal has fought to establish BTFP as more than just a group of venture capitalists by offering young business owners access to critical startup resources and mentorship. Similarly, when BFTP recently announced that it would move into the anticipated 3.0 University Place, a new $100 million development from University Place Associates and The Wistar Institute, we figured they’d be more than regular tenants. We were right.

BFTP will not only be establishing a 28,500 square-foot “innovation floor” but will also play an integral role in advising the designers on how to erect the space with a tech company’s needs in mind.

NextHealth PHL sat down with Rosenthal and BFTP’s vice president of technology commercialization Anthony Green to learn more about BTFP’s upcoming innovation floor, and how the organization’s presence at 3.0 University Place might affect the local life sciences community in the future.

NextHealth PHL: You have a very strong presence at the Navy Yard. What made you decide to be part of this project in University City?

Rosenthal: We do have a very strong presence at the Navy Yard, but we also have a presence in other facilities around the region. So, this is a continuation of that strategy, to place Ben Franklin where there are activities ongoing around innovation and entrepreneurship. It’s less about where the action is and more about where we believe the action can be. So we’re looking for areas that are sort of on the margin, where our presence can help it succeed.

Read the full interview here.